Held during what will be recorded as the worst recession in decades, June’s NPE2009 trade show in Chicago generated its fair share of heated discussion, with some industry experts arguing there was no cause to spend money on an exhibition in such a tough market while others were just as convinced that it was exactly the sort of statement the industry needed to make. The show was combined with the SPE’s Antec and a host of other conferences and events, which some saw as a great more-bang-for-my-buck opportunity; others believed that too much choice diluted the impact of NPE, and especially Antec.
No matter where you stand on those issues, there is no question that the show exhibitors brought an incredible array of technology to the Windy City, technology offering processors a way to move well ahead of their peers. We devote this NPE Showcase to some of those many new developments and wish you success in finding the materials and equipment your company needs. You can also find more Web Exclusive bonus content here.
Materials and additives
Beyond PET, Invista now offering PA66 too
As its noncompete agreement with DuPont is ending, PET supplier Invista (Wichita, KS) announced at NPE it has thrown its hat into the nylon 6/6 supply ring, and reckons it has a good chance of taking market share from more established engineering thermoplastics suppliers. The firm’s portfolio already included nylon fiber, and Kurt Burmeister, executive VP of the company’s new engineering polymers business unit, said at NPE that his firm bases its expectation on its lack of any legacy materials. “We’re taking a more focused approach by creating a simplified portfolio of products, each with the ability to perform in numerous applications,” Burmeister said, with target markets including automotive, electrical/electronics, and consumer goods, among others. Initial grades will include some offering low viscosity, and Burmeister said the company has established relationships with a number of compounders around the world to compound the materials (the company would not name those compounders, nor would he quantify the supplier’s PA66 capacity). He also said that Invista would be able to offer grades with postindustrial recycled content. Invista, www.invista.com
Replace petro-based plastics
with no loss of properties
That, said Marsha Clark, global business director for renewably sourced materials at supplier DuPont (Wilmington, DE), is the truly big deal with the company’s new range of materials based on renewable resources. Three product lines—Sorona EP, Hytrel RS, and Zytel 6/10 and 10/10—are offered, with the Zytel 10/10 material 100% based on renewably sourced materials. Hytrel RS grades can be dropped into applications now running petrochemical-based Hytrel with no drop-off in properties, she said. Sorona EP processes like PBT but has lower warpage and is stronger, she said; 15% and 30% glass-fiber-reinforced versions are available and an unreinforced version is on the way. “We’re getting very strong market pull (for these materials), even in this economy,” she added. The three material ranges primarily will compete with engineering thermoplastics in injection molded technical applications. The supplier also offers its Biomax materials for packaging applications